My hair has started to fall out.

I had read so many conflicting things about when and how your hair starts to fall out after chemotherapy. It seems it can begin anything between 7 days and 21 days after chemo or, if you’re extra super lucky, it might not fall out at all. Well, today is 19 days since round one of chemo and to be honest, I’d started to think maybe I would be one of the lucky ones. I was in two minds about it, though, because when you’ve spent more than £800 on quality wigs, you kind of hope your hair will fall out at some point.

The doctors hadn’t told me anything other than that my hair would fall out, one way or another. I didn’t know what to expect, but about a week ago my head started to tingle. When you’re expecting something to happen, you start to invent symptoms (like when you find out the dog has flees and suddenly you convince yourself you’ve got an itch…) so I really didn’t know whether I was imagining the tingly head or whether it was related to my eventual hair loss, but still it didn’t start to fall out. Then, about 24 hours ago, my head became really sore and tender to the touch, and I noticed a few strands came out after I washed it.

Waiting for your hair to fall out is stressful, to say the least. Every morning for the past two weeks I’ve woken up and checked my pillow for clumps. There have been no clumps whatsoever. Not even this morning. But now, when I run my hand through my hair, a load of strands come out, so I know it’s happening. And I’m surprisingly ok with it because, after reading the horror stories on the internet about the man who asked his kids to pull all his hair out and the woman whose hair “all just came out in one go in the shower,” I was expecting much worse.

I still have a full head of hair right now (see below – photo taken just now) and am surprised at how thick it is. But I’ll probably be bald in a couple of days. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to shave my head because it’s a bank holiday weekend in England so no hairdressers will be open tomorrow, and I’m going for my next chemotherapy session on Tuesday so I won’t feel like getting out of bed for a week after that. I apologise in advance to my parents for all the vacuuming they’re going to have to do…

So, I’ve been kinda quiet for the past few days. I went to York on Tuesday and my lovely friend Danie came to visit on Wednesday and to be honest, a few days of mild activity and talking wore me out. We went for an hour-long walk around hilly West Yorkshire on Thursday and by the time I got back, my legs felt like they’d turned to jelly. It’s crazy to think this time a year ago I was training for a marathon and could run 20 miles up and down the same Yorkshire hills. Hopefully I’ll be back in action in six months’ time.

I’ve been feeling ever-so-slightly under the weather and very weak for the past few days so have spent the entire time cooped up in the house, keeping my strengths up before the next chemotherapy round. I’m pleased to report I’m in great spirits though, and looking forward to getting another nasty drug infusion session out of the way so I can move towards the recovery phase once again.

Oh, and it’s raining. After a couple of weeks of true, sunny British summer weather, it’s amazing how wonderful a torrential rain storm can make you feel when you’re stuck inside the house anyway.